Pissy Pink and the Case of The Glamorous Grammys
Doja Cat sets a new sprint record, SZA breaks a leg, Pink raises a stink, Gaga dips into cabernet, Madonna channels the underworld, Lindsay Lohan looks back, and more rated Top Shelf to Low Brow!
As one Miss Azealia Banks once said, hey hi hello, yeah, what’s up! This edition almost wasn’t for a couple of reasons. I almost abandoned it in favor of catching up on Severance, which I am now hopelessly obsessed with, before its finale drops tomorrow. I haven’t felt this inclined to fully mainline a show in full binge mode since…maybe Watchmen in late 2019?
The second is that, when I opened my laptop last night to start making this edition’s lead graphic, my wifi immediately went out for the first time in fourteen months. Seemed almost like a Sine From Above to take my ass to bed before 3am, but some other, more sinful force intervened and gave the signal back to me within twenty minutes. And now we’re here today. Let’s get into it.
Top Shelf, Low Brow: April 1st-April 7th
Now I remember why I like to watch a bunch of celebrities pile together in one room!
The Grammys, normally an annual work of fiction, somehow shifted its existence to happen within the realm of our tangible human reality this year! Perhaps it was the p*lm to the f*ce at the Oscars that made the Grammys seem a little more grounded, but whatever it was, I’ll happily take it. And of course, I say “grounded” with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, but it did seem like a palate cleanser of sorts! As far back as I can remember, The Grammys have always had a thick air of desperation surrounding them: stunt awards, purposefully egregious snubs and losses (a certain Lemony beverage comes to mind…), and simply the most headline-baity, orchestrated “moments” this side of the VMAs. But this year felt different! And I still don’t know exactly why.
Maybe it was because it was the first show further out of COVID, where musicians could gather after a pretty genuinely great year for music to celebrate their craft without having to mask or hold the ceremony outside. Maybe everyone was drunk off a combination of champaign, lean, and cold hard cash. Whatever caused it, I enjoyed it! Here are a few roundup moments I’ve come back to now that the dust has settled:
SZA versus the power of gravity may have been both the hottest debate of the night and the one that caused the most joy. Nominated for “Kiss Me More”—her collaboration with Doja Cat where she plainly lays out one of the most incisive, thoughtful witticisms ever put to song: “fuckin’ with you feels like jail”—SZA showed up on a pair of crutches after falling out of bed the morning of the show. When “Kiss Me More” won Best Pop Duo Performance, SZA slowly made her way up to the stage on her crutches (assisted by Lady Gaga, jumping up to help with the train of her dress) and then shuffled to the mic, walking on her bad ankle.
Immediately, tweets flew in about SZA walking on both feet to accept the award, joking about it being “a miracle happening live,” suggesting that most people have, at best, a very narrow view of the nuance of disability.
Speaking as someone who sprained their toe so badly over the summer they were certain it was broken in twenty-eight places and was sent away from the emergency room hobbling without any aid and still in immense pain, it was no place of ours to ponder why SZA was walking for that brief second! I could walk too, the pain was just astronomical! But if I had just won a GRAMMY, I think the pure rush of euphoric dopamine would act as a natural painkiller. DUH. Of course, SZA later confirmed that she did, in fact, break her ankle. And the accident actually gave us some of the most charming moments backstage moments of the evening!
To accept her award with SZA, Doja Cat had to sprint back from the bathroom after their names were called while she was taking, and I quote, “the fastest piss [she] ever took in her life.” Sometimes, God places her Angels in the right place at the right time to make sure that history has a record…
Elsewhere, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa brought back some much-needed high-glamour stunt behavior while performing a nod to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s same-dress bit at the 1996 VMAs.
Dua Lipa once again proves that she is not an actress…but still a very talented musician!
Lady Gaga performed a medley of “Love for Sale” and “Do I Love You?” from Love for Sale, in honor of Tony Bennett. “Do I Love You?” proved to be a touching, emotional performance that referenced the duo’s decade-plus working relationship and friendship. “Love for Sale” was…well…more in the style of a young British chimney sweep barking in the street for a poor soul to take pity on him with a bowl of porridge and a ha’penny.
A lot of interesting face work going on here. Gaga simply loves to sing a song written in the early 1930s as if she’s on stage at a speakeasy looking to entertain the boys over a glass of toilet whiskey during the days of the stock market crash. She’s Grandma Germanotta in the old country after dipping too hard into the vino. Este Haim has bass face. Lady Gaga has jazz face.
And, well, that’s all she wrote! Performances were good, celebrity bits were good, awards were all pretty well-deserved—save for Louis C.K.’s win for comedy album and Nas (not the Lil one) performing and being twice-nominated, because truly, what the fuck. I actually got through most of the show without being too bored! Except for when I skipped 50 minutes to watch the penultimate episode of The Dropout, but whatever.
(Rating: Dare I say Top Shelf!)
Worst Celebrity You Can Think Of Always Has Something to Say
Before the Grammys, Kelly Osbourne’s more-annoying tulpa, P!nk, took to Instagram to blast Rolling Stone for an innocuous list of “25 Greatest Grammy Performances Ever.”
She maybe had some rough outline of a point she was working toward here until she reached “that’s when Snooki became acceptable coverage.” P-exclamation point-Ink has always been completely incapable of doing anything without trying to take other women down for no reason. “Stupid Girls,” though still banging, is a blight on a career filled with more low points than high ones. P!nk has so many stinkers in her discography that she had to learn aerial acrobatics just to try to fool people into thinking her music is good. I can’t imagine being a professional singer with millions upon millions of dollars in your bank account and getting mad over a god damned LISTICLE. The music industry’s biggest sore loser. I’m glad Alecia “P!nk” Moore had a bad Sunday. I’ve had entire weeks ruined after being subjected to just one note of “Just Give Me A Reason.” Now we’re even.
(Rating: Low Brow)
CRITICAL BREAKING NEWS
Vogue enlisted Lindsay Lohan as the latest celebrity to do their “Life in Looks” series. Did I almost drop my phone on the floor of the 2 Train when I got this notification? You bet your ass. Unfortunately, that also means it was neither the right time nor place for me to watch it, so, until later tonight, you’re my eyes and ears on the ground.
I hope it’s as good as I want it to be. I hope she’s so raspy it sounds like her voice could give at any second. Just a quick scroll-through is providing me with all of the life and vitality I need to carry me through the rest of this week. Props to the producers for choosing some great selections in a career filled with a lot to work with. The 2006 Vanity Fair party/black hair era and the Miu Miu campaign right off the bat? Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this…
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Wake up, babe, new The Ring video dropped
Madonna has continued her journey from legendary pop icon to TikTok star and remix artist, posting this very fun and not at all scary clip of herself with the sixteenth version of the same remix of “Frozen” that she’s put out in the last month.
It’s always very telling to me when people will post a video like this and be like, “Wow, this woman must be losing it!” This is the woman who is potentially the biggest troll in the music industry. A perpetual liar just for the fun of it. She knows exactly what she’s doing…and she also has no idea. She just knows it works and it gets precisely the reaction she’s looking for. In Madonna’s eyes, there is no wrong way to do something. Only experimentation for the craft.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Horny Section
Um…who else got warm…
These outtakes of Harry Styles’ Variety shoot from last year have sent me into a days-long tailspin that I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever recover from.
I’m just a person, staring at their computer screen, asking for one kiss. And I sound like this video of Teresa Giudice singing “One Kiss” because my mouth gets so watery that I begin choking on my saliva until it gets stuck in my glottis and I am nothing but a weary, horny toad ribbiting sweet nothings into the night as a mating call for my frog prince.
Donald Glover photographed by Tyler Mitchell wearing angel wings in front of a Taco Bell for the cover story of Interview is something that can be so personal…and so completely stirring.
Hot new couple alerts!
Leslie Jordan and Jorgeous were spotted getting mighty close on the set of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Could a cross-generational relationship be in the works for these two queens? We’ve already got a great new couple name: Jor-geous! Wait.
Lady Gaga and BTS’ Taehyung were spotted canoodling by probing lenses at The Grammys. BTW, our sources say Taehyung is leaving BTS to BWS: Be With Stefani!
Critics did NOT put out the hit!
For some reason, I had been under the incorrect impression that The Girl from Plainville, the new Hulu miniseries starring Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter, who was convicted a few years back for encouraging a friend to commit suicide by text, had become a sort of a critical misfire. I just watched the fourth episode last night and found myself saying, “Wow! I can’t believe this isn’t getting good reviews. Elle Fanning’s performance alone is worthy of accolades” (which is how I talk to myself when I’m alone). I fully thought that The Girl from Plainville had been Gotti’d:
TURNS OUT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE!
Here I was thinking this was a miniseries Hulu had been banking on with millions of dollars and a queer-baiting Chloë Sevigny casting (queer people run to anything Miz Sevigny is in!) and it was turning out to be a total flop, a waste of money that only I was seeing the value in. I thought I was a total underdog here. No. Critics, for the most part, love it. They’re raving about all of the same things I am, particularly praising Elle Fanning’s captivating performance as a troubled teenager making reprehensible decisions for no discernible reason. I am just stupid.
Anyway, this show is genuinely great. And not just because it capitalizes on the case’s true-to-life, absolutely bonkers Glee connection with this genius scene.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
I have secured my tickets for the opening weekend of The Northman, but I do have one question: why’d they give my guy the William H. Macy in The Dropout forehead?
I’d like to rate this Low Brow, but it is quite literally a high brow. I can’t argue with biology and the power of makeup.
If anyone’s got me, I know Marcel the Shell with Shoes On got me!
The trailer for the full-length film adaptation of Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate’s early 2010s viral short Marcel The Shell With Shoes On dropped early on Tuesday, hitting me right in a weak spot in my heart that I thought had been closed off forever. The perfect mixture of a sort of forgotten innocence and the most potent drug known to man, nostalgia. Plus a Phil Collins needle drop? The tears started about twenty seconds in and didn’t stop until YouTube started auto-playing another god damn Liberty Mutual insurance ad.
As someone who felt guilty this morning leaving one pre-made meatball alone in the fridge because all of its friends were now gone, Marcel the Shell’s sweet depiction of an animate mollusk trying to find its family cut me on a very deep level. And yes, if you’re wondering, that does mean I had meatballs for breakfast.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Music Section
Pop savant Carly Rae Jepsen will soon be making her return, seemingly with a song called “Western Wind.”
The song would appear to be produced by Rostam Batmanglij, who produced and co-wrote one of Jepsen’s finest songs—and frankly one of the most formidable entries into the pop music canon over the last decade—“Warm Blood.” If that’s any indication of the song’s quality, I fear that we may be in for an earth-shattering experience. Strap the tarps over your covered wagons and prepare for a bout of dysentery, we’re heading West!
Ethel Cain has released the second single from their debut album Preacher’s Daughter. The song, titled “Strangers,” was written four years ago (a detail I learned by joining her Instagram Live last night, using my cellular data while my wifi was still out) and went through several demo versions before finally being released into the world at midnight.
Simply put, it’s stunningly gorgeous. I am continuously astounded by Hayden Anhedönia’s head for songwriting and ear for melody. Who ever thought the words “smoked bovine hide” could sound so unforgettably lovely and delicate?
Tove Lo has teased…something…coming soon. Whatever it is, sounds like it’ll be on repeat through all of Summer 2022.
That’s all for this week! Sorry if this edition was slightly abridged, but I’ve got like five more episodes of Severance and about twelve more seasons of Keeping Up with The Kardashians to watch before their new show drops next week! After all, I’ve got to see how this saga plays out in chronological order. How else could I ever possibly know what happens to this family of go-getters unless I watch all sixteen thousand episodes of their little-known reality show?
I’ll also be looking at this photograph of Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Lana Del Rey, wondering what life could be like if I could organize a sort of indie, sad girl version of Divas Live.
I might have a couple of extra things in the oven dropping soon myself as well! But more on that another day. Comment, like, and share with your niece who cannot yet read if you feel so inclined. I love you! 💖